One doesn’t attract 600 million plus users without picking up some of the worst scum along the way. Fortunately it seems as if Facebook is teaming up with Microsoft in order to catch child predators using the social giant’s website.
Facebook is joining Microsoft in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s PhotoDNA program to combat child pornography. NCMEC’s program, using image-matching technology created by Microsoft Research in collaboration with Dartmouth College, gives online service providers an effective tool to take more proactive action to stop the distribution of known images of child sexual abuse online. (Official Microsoft Blog)
According to the NY Times (who first broke the story), PhotoDNA basically converts the image into a black and white photo, then chops them into smaller blocks.
Using certain measurement tools (which understandably they decline to elaborate upon), PhotoDNA is able to determine if certain images are indeed exploiting children.
Microsoft is apparently giving away this technology for free, and is trying to convince competitors (i.e. read Google) to adopt their technology (which they have already tested using Bing!).
Creating a safer environment for children seems to be a recurring theme for the social giant, and hopefully more companies (like Flickr, Twitter, etc.) will consider implementing PhotoDNA in order to root out child predators from the social universe.
Image Credit: NY Times